God’s temple in heaven was opened,
and the ark of his covenant could be seen in the temple.
A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun,
with the moon under her feet,
and on her head a crown of twelve stars.
She was with child and wailed aloud in pain as she labored to give birth.
Then another sign appeared in the sky;
it was a huge red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and on its heads were seven diadems. Its tail swept away a third of the stars in the sky and hurled them down to the earth. Then the dragon stood before the woman about to give birth, to devour her child when she gave birth.
She gave birth to a son, a male child,
destined to rule all the nations with an iron rod. Her child was caught up to God and his throne. The woman herself fled into the desert where she had a place prepared by God.
Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:
“Now have salvation and power come,
and the Kingdom of our God
and the authority of his Anointed.”
R.(15:9d) You are the highest honor of our race.
Blessed are you, daughter, by the Most High God,
above all the women on earth;
and blessed be the LORD God,
the creator of heaven and earth.
R. You are the highest honor of our race.
Your deed of hope will never be forgotten
by those who tell of the might of God.
R. You are the highest honor of our race.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are you, holy Virgin Mary, deserving of all praise; from you rose the sun of justice, Christ our God.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The angel Gabriel was sent from God
to a town of Galilee called Nazareth,
to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David,
and the virgin’s name was Mary.
And coming to her, he said:
“Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.”
But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.
Then the angel said to her,
“Do not be afraid, Mary,
for you have found favor with God.
Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus.
He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High,
and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father,
and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his Kingdom there will be no end.”
But Mary said to the angel,
“How can this be,
since I have no relations with a man?”
And the angel said to her in reply,
“The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.
Therefore the child to be born
will be called holy, the Son of God.
And behold, Elizabeth, your relative,
has also conceived a son in her old age,
and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren;
for nothing will be impossible for God.”
Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.
Mary set out
and traveled to the hill country in haste
to a town of Judah, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.
When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting,
the infant leaped in her womb,
and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit,
cried out in a loud voice and said:
“Most blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb”.
And how does this happen to me,
that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears,
the infant in my womb leaped for joy.
Blessed are you who believed
that what was spoken to you by the Lord
would be fulfilled.”
And Mary said:
“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior.”
Peter and John before the Sanhedrin
1But while they were speaking to the people, the priests and the magistrate of the temple and the Sadducees overwhelmed them, 2being grieved that they were teaching the people and announcing in Jesus the resurrection from the dead.
3And they laid hands on them, and they placed them under guard until the next day. For it was now evening. 4But many of those who had heard the word believed. And the number of men became five thousand.
5And it happened on the next day that their leaders and elders and scribes gathered together in Jerusalem, 6including Annas, the high priest, and Caiaphas, and John and Alexander, and as many as were of the priestly family. 7And stationing them in the middle, they questioned them: “By what power, or in whose name, have you done this?”
8Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Leaders of the people and elders, listen. 9If we today are judged by a good deed done to an infirm man, by which he has been made whole, 10let it be known to all of you and to all of the people of Israel:
that in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God has raised from the dead, by him, this man stands before you, healthy. 11He is the stone, which was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the head of the corner. 12And there is no salvation in any other. For there is no other name under heaven given to men, by which it is necessary for us to be saved.”
The Name Forbidden
13Then, seeing the constancy of Peter and John, having verified that they were men without letters or learning, they wondered. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus.
14Also, seeing the man who had been cured standing with them, they were unable to say anything to contradict them. 15But they ordered them to withdraw outside, away from the council, and they conferred among themselves, 16saying: “What shall we do to these men? For certainly a public sign has been done through them, before all the inhabitants of Jerusalem. It is manifest, and we cannot deny it. 17But lest it spread further among the people, let us threaten them not to speak anymore in this name to any man.” 18And calling them in, they warned them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. 19Yet truly, Peter and John said in response to them: “Judge whether it is just in the sight of God to listen to you, rather than to God. 20For we are unable to refrain from speaking the things that we have seen and heard.”
21But they, threatening them, sent them away, having not found a way that they might punish them because of the people. For all were glorifying the things that had been done in these events. 22For the man in whom this sign of a cure had been accomplished was more than forty years old.
The Believers’ Prayer
23Then, having been released, they went to their own, and they reported in full what the leaders of the priests and the elders had said to them. 24And when they had heard it, with one accord, they lifted up their voice to God, and they said: “Lord, you are the One who made heaven and earth, the sea and all that is in them,
25who, by the Holy Spirit, through the mouth of our father David, your servant, said: ‘Why have the Gentiles been seething, and why have the people been pondering nonsense?
26The kings of the earth have stood up, and the leaders have joined together as one, against the Lord and against his Christ.’
27For truly Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, joined together in this city against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed 28to do what your hand and your counsel had decreed would be done. 29And now, O Lord, look upon their threats, and grant to your servants that they may speak your word with all confidence, 30by extending your hand in cures and signs and miracles, to be done through the name of your holy Son, Jesus.” 31And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered was moved. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. And they were speaking the Word of God with confidence.—acts 4
Sharing among Believers
32Then the multitude of believers were of one heart and one soul. Neither did anyone say that any of the things that he possessed were his own, but all things were common to them. 33And with great power, the Apostles were rendering testimony to the Resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord. And great grace was in them all. 34And neither was anyone among them in need. For as many as were owners of fields or houses, selling these, were bringing the proceeds of the things that they were selling, 35and were placing it before the feet of the Apostles. Then it was divided to each one, just as he had need.
36Now Joseph, who the Apostles surnamed Barnabas (which is translated as ‘son of consolation’), who was a Levite of Cyprian descent, 37since he had land, he sold it, and he brought the proceeds and placed these at the feet of the Apostles.—Acts 4